Milligan named ‘Best Bang for the Buck’

MILLIGAN COLLEGE, TN (Aug. 23, 2013) —As college costs flood the national spotlight, Milligan College is named among the nation’s top 100 schools that offer students the “Best Bang for the Buck,” according to a Washington Monthly magazine ranking based on economic value students receive per dollar.

Milligan is ranked fifth in the nation among baccalaureate colleges and is No. 92 out of all 1,572 colleges and universities included in Washington Monthly’s broader college rankings to be released next week. In addition, Milligan is one of only three Tennessee schools named to the top 100.

The “Best Bang for the Buck” ranking is an exclusive list of the colleges in America that do the best job of helping non-wealthy students attain marketable degrees at affordable prices.

“There is an ongoing national conversation about controlling college costs, so it’s very encouraging that Milligan is included in this list of colleges that are keeping costs down and making it possible for students to receive a great education at an affordable price,” said Milligan President Dr. Bill Greer. “Many of the other ‘Best Bang for the Buck’ schools are public institutions. Milligan’s inclusion is another affirmation that a private education at Milligan is well within students’ reach and a sound investment.”

Washington Monthly used four criteria, including Pell grant, graduation rates and graduate earning statistics, to select the “Best Bang for the Buck” schools. After the list was compiled, schools were ranked based on their net price of attendance. Net price is the average tuition that first-time, full-time students from families with an annual income of $75,000 or less actually pay after subtracting the need-based financial aid they receive.

Milligan’s net cost is $1,600 below other local private colleges in Northeast Tennessee and Virginia, and the total cost is $6,500 below the national average for private colleges. Ninety-eight percent of students receive financial aid and do not pay the full sticker price.

Milligan’s federal student loan debt at graduation last year was $4,000 below the national average. Fewer Milligan students borrow federal loans than at most local colleges, and the amount they borrow is less than all local schools, public and private. Furthermore, the loan default rate for students at Milligan is one third that of local colleges and the national average.

In addition, Milligan’s first-year retention rate is 23 percent higher than other local institutions and the graduation rate is 29 percent higher.

“Our numbers attest to Milligan’s good value,” said Dr. Lee Fierbaugh, vice president for enrollment management and marketing. “Compared to many other schools, including public universities, our students often pay less in the end because they’re staying on track and finishing in less time. And they’re getting a much higher quality education here.”

Eighty-nine percent of Milligan’s graduates have jobs within six months of graduation, and 98 percent are employed within one year.

“Our students expect more ‘bang for the buck,’ so we are committed to keeping our costs low while continuing to add new programs and facilities such as the new Milligan Housing Village that opened this fall,” Greer said. “Good stewardship is part of Milligan’s history and will continue to be something we practice every day so that our students can reap the rewards.”

Founded in 1969, Washington Monthly is a bimonthly publication covering politics, government, culture and the media. For a complete listing of “Best Bang for the Buck” schools, visit www.washingtonmonthly.com.

To learn more about Milligan, visit www.milligan.edu.


MILLIGAN COLLEGE is a Christian liberal arts college in Northeast Tennessee whose vision is to change lives and shape culture through a commitment to servant leadership. The college offers more than 100 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in a variety of fields, along with graduate and adult degree completion programs.  To learn more about Milligan College, visit www.milligan.edu or call 800-262-8337.

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